One of the best ways to make your resume work experience come alive is to use action verbs.
In fact, studies show that using action verbs on your resume can increase your chances of getting an interview by 140 percent.
Action verbs convey doing. For example, “He collaborated with the marketing team,” or “She fostered better community relations.”
To help you breathe life into your resume, we’ve put together a list of 195 action verbs that recruiters love to see the most. Add some of these words to your resume to increase your chances of getting a job interview.
When you’re done, scan your resume with Jobscan’s online tool to make sure you’re including the most relevant words for the job you’re applying to.
Table of Contents
- 195 power action verbs recruiters really love to see
- Management and leadership action verbs
- Creative action verbs
- Worker action verbs
- Teamwork action verbs
- Communication action verbs
- Goal achievement action verbs
- Research/analysis action verbs
- Accounting/finance action verbs
- Technical action verbs
- Teacher/training action verbs
- How to use action verbs on your resume
- Additional resources for creating a powerful resume
195 power action verbs recruiters really love to see
We asked recruiters and hiring managers which action verbs impressed them the most when they reviewed resumes. Here are their 195 favorite verbs, organized by category.
Remember, only use words that are relevant and that accurately reflect your skills and experiences. The best way to determine which words are most relevant for the job you’re applying to is to use an online tool like Jobscan’s resume scanner.
Management and leadership action verbs
Use the following verbs to show that you have the ability to lead and manage effectively.
Try to avoid generic verbs like “led” or “managed” and opt instead for words that provide insight into your management style and achievements.
Creative action verbs
Use the following action verbs to highlight your ability to conceptualize and create.
For additional synonyms, see The Best Synonyms for Created.
Worker action verbs
Use the following action verbs to communicate your willingness and ability to implement projects.
While management and leadership are commonly desired abilities, hiring managers also want to know you’re willing to get your hands dirty.
Teamwork action verbs
Use the following action verbs to highlight your ability to collaborate and work well with others.
- Teamed (up)
Communication action verbs
Use the following action verbs to show that you can effectively communicate with colleagues, clients, or the public.
For additional synonyms, see 43 Powerful Resume Synonyms for Collaborate.
Goal achievement action verbs
Use the following success-related action verbs to show that you set and achieve your goals.
Research/analysis action verbs
Use the following action verbs to show that you can identify a problem, gather information about it, and come up with a solution.
Accounting/finance action verbs
Use the following action verbs to show that you have experience working with and understanding numerical data.
Technical action verbs
Use the following action verbs if you are pursuing a career in the tech industry.
Teacher/training action verbs
Use the following action verbs to show your experience working with students in some capacity, helping them learn new information or skills.
- Set goals
How to use action verbs on your resume
Action verbs are one of the most important elements of a strong resume, but they can sometimes be tricky to use.
Here are five tips for using action verbs effectively:
1) Avoid overused action verbs
While some action verbs pack a punch, others are so familiar to recruiters that their eyes may skim right over them.
Overused action verbs include:
- Worked with
- Responsible for
If you find these overused words on your resume, try switching them out with something from the list of 195 action verbs above.
2) Be as specific as possible
Being specific is the best way to paint a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished in your past work experience.
One way to be specific is to use numbers. Another way is to use action verbs. Using both numbers and action verbs together is even more powerful.
Take a look at the three examples below and see how each example becomes more detailed, specific, and compelling.
Good: Led a team of designers, engineers, and writers in the creation of a new blog series that resulted in over 1 million unique users visiting the site.
Better: Spearheaded a new blog initiative that united engineers, designers and writers and introduced over 1 million unique users to the site.
Even Better: Conceptualized and spearheaded a new blog initiative that united engineers, designers and writers, generating over 3 million organic sessions and introducing over 1 million unique users to the website.
3) Avoid writing in the passive voice
We often use the passive voice unconsciously and it can sometimes be challenging to detect.
In passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the verb. For example, “The ball was hit by the batter.” In an active voice, the subject performs the verb. For example, “The batter hit the ball.”
Active voice is more concise, clear, and direct. A passive voice, meanwhile, often leaves readers confused about who is doing what. Ultimately, active voice is just more interesting to read.
One simple way to tell if you are using active voice or passive voice on your resume is to see if your verbs contain one word or two.
For example, the verb “was grown” comprises two words, meaning that it is in the passive voice. If it were in the active voice, it would have only one word: “grew.”
You can also easily check to see if your resume is using the passive voice with a free online tool called HemingwayApp. Just paste your resume into the app and it will highlight where you used passive voice.
4) Use industry-specific verbs
It’s important to use language that is specific to the industry you’re applying to.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in the financial industry, using verbs like “invested,” “audited,” or “calculated” will quickly show employers that you have the relevant skills, experience, and knowledge that they are looking for.
5) Use an online resume checker
To make sure your resume is mistake-free, run it through an online tool like Jobscan’s resume scanner. It compares your resume to the job description and highlights missing keywords and other errors.
In the example below, the Jobscan tool is telling the job seeker to add the action verb “collaborate” to their resume for optimal effectiveness.
Additional resources for creating a powerful resume
500 Synonyms for Common Resume Power Verbs – If you’re looking for the perfect word to describe your work experience and skills on your resume, you can find it on our list of 500 synonyms for the most used power verbs.
The Top 500 ATS Resume Keywords – Here are the 500 keywords, organized by industry, that appear most frequently in Jobscan‘s database of real job descriptions.
How to Write a Resume That Recruiters Will Really Love – Get hired faster with our proven step-by-step resume guide.
How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume – This step-by-step guide shows you how to create a work experience section that will help you get more job interviews.
Resume Examples for Any Job – Check out our comprehensive library of resume examples and start building your own resume and land interviews!
What are action verbs and how can you use them on your resume?
Action verbs describe physical or mental actions. Examples of common action verbs include “run,” “jump,” “think,” and “read.”
Action verbs can really spice up your resume and make it more interesting to read. They can also help potential employers see the value in what you can bring to their company.
On your resume, use action verbs to describe your accomplishments rather than simply listing your job duties.
For example, if you’re a salesperson, you might use verbs like “negotiated,” “sold,” or “closed.” If you’re in customer service, you might use verbs like “assisted,” “resolved,” or “helped.”
Why should you use resume action verbs?
Resume action verbs help grab and hold the reader’s attention. This is important because hiring managers only spend an average of six to seven seconds looking at each resume.
Using action verbs on your resume will paint a clear and convincing picture of your work experience. They enable potential employers to visualize not only what you did, but how you did it, and how your accomplishments benefited the company.
Finally, action verbs convey a sense of enthusiasm and energy. This is important because employers want to see that you’re excited about the job and willing to put in the work.
How to list strong action verbs on your resume
Action verbs convey your skills and accomplishments in a way that is both clear and concise, and they can really help you stand out from the competition.
But how do you list action verbs on your resume? Here are a few tips:
- First, make a list of all of your relevant skills and accomplishments.
- Next, take a look at that list and identify the most powerful verbs that accurately describe what you did. (If you need help, choose from our list of 195 action verbs for resume optimization above).
- Once you have your verbs picked out, use them throughout your resume, including in your job titles, descriptions, and bullet points.
- Use action verbs in the present tense when describing current roles, and past tense for previous positions.
What are resume buzzwords?
Resume buzzwords are popular or trendy keywords and phrases that are commonly used in resumes
These buzzwords are often industry-specific and are meant to highlight specific skills, qualifications, or achievements that are sought after in a particular field.
However, it’s important to use buzzwords strategically and ensure they genuinely reflect your abilities and experience, rather than using them solely for the sake of catching attention.
Should a resume start with verbs?
By beginning bullet points with action verbs, you immediately communicate the specific actions you took and the results you achieved in your previous roles. This approach helps to make your resume more dynamic and engaging.
If you really want to turbocharge your resume, consider using Jobscan’s resume scanner.
The scanner uses AI-powered technology to scan your resume and then compare it to the job description of the position you’re applying for.
You’ll not only get a “match rate” that shows you how closely your resume matches the job description, but you’ll also receive step-by-step instructions on how to fix your resume and improve your match rate.
Make your resume stand out and get noticed
Upload your resume to see what’s missing and get a free match rate.
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